BOWLING GREEN, KY (2/24/13)—Intense, yet spacious vocals, snappy and often times energetically raw guitar work, a striking wall of synthesized sounds, thick bass lines, and a varied mix of splashing cymbal and sharp drum work define much of the musical catalogue created by Bowling Green-based band, Buffalo Rodeo.
From the juxtaposition of chaotic breaks and joyously insightful lyrics found in “A. Hook” on the band’s 2012 sophomore album, Common Cults, to the ethereally impassioned feel of their latest single, “Cargo,” Buffalo Rodeo’s music is fresh, inspiring, and, in a sense, spiritual. And with a new EP, Home Videos, set for release in March, there’s no doubt that the unique musical atmosphere they have created will expand.
Never heard of this progressive band of musical gypsies?
Even if you haven’t, the Sugg Street Post recently got the chance to interview the up-and-coming five-piece to find out what the story is behind their name, their influences, plans they have for the future, and much more. And, like their sweeping, experimental compositions, the individual and collectively-voiced answers they offered us are perhaps some of the most original responses we’ve received so far—and that’s a really great thing.
Luke Short: Who are the members of Buffalo Rodeo and where are you all from?
Buffalo Rodeo: Buffalo Rodeo is comprised of Zach Preston on vocals, Ryan Gilbert on drums, Nathaniel Davis on guitars, Jordan Reynolds on keys and vocals, and Patrick Duncan on bass. We all reside in Bowling Green.
LS: How and when did you all meet up and start jamming?
BR: There was an earthquake and we met under a rainbow of glorious salvation and love; forever.
LS: What is the meaning behind your name, and how does it fit with your music?
BR: We have a neighbor who is really into Native American culture and he also used to be a bull rider. However, one night while he was meditating and smoking the medicinal and spiritual holy plant, God came down to him from high and said, “Two Rivers”—which was his name—“your destiny is to ride the great white buffalo,” and when he told us about this, we knew that our calling had come. We named ourselves thusly: Buffalo Rodeo. Amen.
LS: Do you define your music by a certain genre?
BR: Progressive indie experimental alternative rock.
LS: What are all the albums you’ve released since forming?
BR: We released Wanderers in 2011, Common Cults in 2012, and are in the process of finishing our latest EP, Home Videos, which is due for release in March.
LS: So, what's the story behind the new release? Where are you recording it?
BR: We're recording Home Videos at Greyskull Recording Studios here in Bowling Green. We're really excited to release this EP because the music is a lot different than any of the other stuff we've previously recorded. It's also going to be the first recordings we have with Jordan and Patrick on them.
LS: Who are some of your major influences musically?
BR: Portugal. The Man, Local Natives, Manchester Orchestra, Arcade Fire, and Band of Horses.
LS: Who are some of your major influences outside of music?
BR: Family, God, and friends.
LS: With a lot of your music, there is this sense of spaciousness and freedom, as well as some powerful emotional chaos. Is that something intentional or does it all come out spontaneously when you’re jamming and recording together?
BR: A lot of our music has evolved from spontaneous jamming; however, we also spend a lot of time deliberately and meticulously sifting through each part to make sure that everything sounds as it should. So, in essence, our music is the product of spontaneity and careful decision.
LS: What kind of instruments do you use?
BR: Bass - Fender P. Bass and Warwick Powerbass; Drums - Ludwig Vistalites; Keys - Nord Electro 2 and Roland Juno-Stage; Vocals - baller-ass chops; Nate - an excessive amount of rare, vintage, badass gear that only a gearhead would be able to identify properly.
LS: What are some of the most memorable places playing music has taken you?
BR: [Bowling Green’s] Starry Nights Festival and Movers and Shakers in Chicago.
LS: Who are some of BR’s favorite local bands?
BR: Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent, Morning Teleportation, Mahtulu, The Black Shades, The Fair-Weather Kings, Canago, Heavy Chase, and Schools.
LS: You guys are based out of Bowling Green, KY, and there’s a very strong music and arts scene there—and has been for a long time now. What are some the components of BG that keep the scene alive and strong in your opinion?
BR: Honestly, one big component in the BG scene is the fact that there’s not that much to do in Bowling Green…besides play music. The things that people do on the weekends mostly consists of going to a show. There’s constantly music being played or watched. There’s also a big respect for music that goes on. We have a lot of inspiration from our peers—people like Cage and Sleeper Agent and other bands that have gone out and tried to make a name for themselves.
LS: For a community like Madisonville and Hopkins County that is just starting to really grow artistically, is there any advice you can offer to improve upon the scene here?
BR: Start more bands, play more music. It always helps to have a good venue in the area, so out of town bands can come in and play as well. Get a decent sized bar to invest in a good sound system and start having shows.
LS: What is BR’s ultimate goal with music?
BR: We’d like to do this, for real. We want to tour and play music for our lives and not have to have other jobs. Music is what we love, and we want to do it always.
LS: What kind of plans do you have for the future?
BR: In the short future, we’re just going to tour as much as possible and get our name out there to people in other places. We just got a van, so we’re really excited to get out on the road. After that, we’d love to get picked up by a record label of some type and release a full record. That would be tight.
LS: Where can people check you out?
BR: You can check us out at www.facebook.com/buffalorodeo, buffalorodeo.bandcamp.com, and on Twitter @buffalorodeo.
LS: In closing, feel free to give some shout-outs.
BR: We want to give a shout-out to Jordan’s dad for being a cool guy, to Greyskull recordings for recording our EP, and to Richard, our neighbor, for painting that cow skull in our living room.
Want to check out Buffalo Rodeo’s music right now? Simply click on the the ReverbNation player attached below this article, visit their official Facebook page, or check out some of the links mentioned above.
Sugg Street Post
Written by Luke Short
Photos provided by Sean Marshall Studios/Buffalo Rodeo